Durazzo, Count Giacomo (Pio Francesco Antonio Maria)
- Bruce Alan Brown
(Pio Francesco Antonio Maria)
(b Genoa, April 27, 1717; d Padua, Oct 15, 1794). Italian diplomat, theatre director, librettist and art collector, and one of the principal catalysts of reform in 18th-century opera and ballet. The francophilia that coloured nearly all Durazzo's theatrical endeavours was largely the result of his birth into a noble Genoese family (of Albanian origin) with a long history of commercial and political dealings with France. The Durazzos (who produced several doges, including Giacomo's older brother Marcello) were active in Genoa's theatrical life, notably as proprietors of the Teatro del Falcone. Following his inscription into the nobility in 1744, Giacomo was entrusted with several commercial and diplomatic missions to France, during one of which, in 1748, he and his compatriot Agostino Lomellini conceived a plan to rework Quinault and Lully's Armide as an Italian opera on reformed principles. As versified by Migliavacca and set by Traetta, this project was realized in Vienna in ...